A Course in Miracles Blog

Discerning true guidance versus the ego's noise

  • By Paul West
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  • 1550 Words
  • 7 minutes 45 seconds
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When you think of guidance you think of you being separate from the source of guidance - God, and attempting to receive some kind of communication. You hope at first to get any kind of communication at all, and later that you MIGHT actually listen to it and act on it.

I can tell you honestly and personally that even though I receive a lot of guidance in this way, in which it seems to be a separate communication to me, I do NOT always believe it or act upon it, because I still have an ego. Sometimes I struggle with it significantly or outright resist accepting it, and can fight with it for days or weeks before finally doing what it says.

There is a vast spectrum between what you could call a state of 'no guidance' and a state of 'total guidance'. The ego separated state, in which you are identified with ego and see yourself as very separate from God, is a state of no or low guidance. And because of how separate you believe you are, and how unconscious you are, you would be scared by more direct forms of guidance and intimacy. So in that state, it can be appropriate for you to receive guidance in a 'form' that you can accept. And at first that might be simply some synchronicities or some subtle intuitions or insights. Whatever you can accept. And likely you will be quite confused by it and mis-trusting of it and not very likely to listen to it.

It takes a lot of ego-undoing, a lot of surrendering, a lot of developing of trust, a lot of healing, a lot of relinquishing control of 'your life', a lot of opening up to love, and a lot of waking up, in order to get to a point where the 'gap' between you and God closes to such an extent, that there is no longer any NEED for guidance. Instead, in the ultimate state, God is one with you, lives through you, your will is God's will, you simply DO God's will immediately and spontaneously, and you have no need to get some kind of special messages that you might be prone to reject. Instead, you have full acceptance and full openness and trust, so you simply LIVE a divinely directed, divinely orchestrated, and divinely 'guided' life. This is God living in and through you, and you expressing and extending His Kingdom. Total oneness.

So most people are somewhere in-between these two extremes. And depending on where you're at, you're going to have various spiritual lessons and things that you're going to have to go through in order to 'enhance' your guidance. That is, to open up to and trust most in ... what essentially is... your relationship with God. Guidance is just another word for communication, and communication is just another word for your direct experience of and intimacy with God. So to whatever extend you are open to God, that is how much you are going to be guided, and the extend of that guidance, and what form it will take. So long as you are heading in the direction of HEALING your relationship with yourself and God, you are moving in the direction of enhanced guidance, or rather, an enhanced UNITY with God, joining with and accepting His will as your own. 

So you don't need to necessarily have 'courage to act' on guidance, as such. You only are doubtful because you don't yet trust its source enough. Which really means you still listen to the ego or trust the ego too much, or rather, you rely on yourself - your own guidance - too much. It's a toss-up between whether you will follow the guidance or whether you'll do what 'you' think is better. You learn to trust guidance by getting in touch with guidance that comes from TRUTH, and which is based in LOVE, otherwise you cannot develop trust. So the source has to be loving. Or at least, more awake than you are. You need to keep discerning that it is acting in your best interests or is on your side or is 'trust-worthy', and not just blindly trust it at first without having some scrutiny. The scrutiny comes from your ego but you kind of need it at first in order to sort of prove to yourself that it CAN be trusted. Ultimately each step you take towards trust development is a step in your willingness to let go of the ego and to become more 'dependent' on the guidance. If the guidance has your best interests in mind and does not hurt you and does not deceive you and, over time, helps you and heals you, then it will earn your trust and you will open to ever increasingly deep levels of... communion with its source.

So if at the moment you are at the stage where you are experiencing what you call 'noise', and are trying to discern what is guidance or what is not.... I am guessing the ego is interfering with your efforts, which is normal. In other words, parts of you still rely on your own mind. Your mind, your intellect, because easily engaged in trying to figure out stuff on its own. Make it shut up. Make it quiet. Or rather, watch for it trying to do that. Stop trying to fix and solve and figure out. You can't be guided if you are trying to figure out what to do of your own capacity to understand the problem or know what to do.

So to some extend the mind that you have, has become 'posessed' by the ego and is being used for control. This is not natural. And it does this because it is DISCONNECTED from Holy Spirit. Or seems to be. He who perceives and experiences himself as 'separate' HAS to depend on his own ego abilities, the ego use of the mind, to try to survive and get through life or make sense of things. But you're not MEANT to be in that mode of functioning. The mind is supposed to be in service to God, in which God - Spirit - informs the mind of what it needs to know, and USES IT, utilizes it, like a tool, to work THROUGH.

This is the natural, healthy use of the mind, and it requires that the ego is not trying to control the mind or use it for its purposes. So you have to practice this, and this is ultimately all to do with your entire spiritual path and growth - learning to trust Spirit, to trust God, learning to let go of ego control, learning to surrender, learning to LISTEN, learning to DISCERN THE TRUTH, etc. YOU need to learn to discern what is true and what is false so that you can be open to the truth, which means the truth can then direct you, NOT so that you can then act on it in separate isolation.

As the Course says a few times, you will be told SPECIFICALLY what to do. And this is also why this prayer has deep meaning:

"I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal."

This is kind of a statement of what it is like to be in TOTAL UNION with Holy Spirit, where your mind is completely under the direction of spirit, with no ego. You won't be able to really 'get' or 'do' this prayer and actually act this way until you've completely surrendered the ego - which I have not.

Miracle principle 4: "All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically."

Being directed specifically is ultimately what we will experience when we becoming willing enough, trusting enough, open enough.

If you are in a state of having too much 'noise' then you are listening to the ego too much and still believe the ego too much, which means it's just going to have to take some time (not essential but likely) to continue waking up and developing trust, in order for that noise to become... sorted out.... for you to USE the opportunity of ego interference to continue to discern what is true, what is false. Over time your guidance will become stronger and clearer and you will experience it more as your open invitation for Spirit to live through you rather than you getting occasional text messages.

In other words, don't think of the ego noise as just interference - that's the ego's use of it - instead USE it as an opportunity to sharpen your discernment skills, what is true and false, to sharpen your listening skills, your surrendering skills. Use it to improve your TRUST in and DISCERNMENT OF real guidance. The ego is really just there to stimulate you, to act as a catalyst, to help point you in the right direction by tempting you in the wrong direction - if you use it that way.

Living with God is your natural way of life.
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